Is brand marketing becoming a forgotten hero? Many direct-to-consumer brands in today’s climate have begun to develop an obsession with performance marketing while placing branding in the proverbial back seat. However, there are significant ramifications from prioritizing one strategy over the other. Brand Marketing defines a company’s reputation, its values, the quality of its offerings, its trustworthiness, and more. It seeks to enhance credibility, prompt an emotional response from the consumer, increase customer loyalty, and motivate buyers. Performance marketing, on the other hand, deals in the realm of concrete data, such as lead generation and conversions (i.e., email sign-ups or the number of purchases)
So brand marketing vs performance marketing?
Many marketers are masters of one type, but very few excel at the two simultaneously. It is challenging to go deep into both. However, the best marketers must and do understand the art and science of marketing and are able to bring forward foundational brand elements into communication with the consumer across every channel.
In what seems like a perfect amalgamation of paid advertising and brand marketing, performance or ROI-driven marketing translates to advertising programs where affiliates and marketing organizations only get paid upon the completion of the desired action which can range from a completed lead, sale, or booking to a download. This, in turn, transcends into a lucrative marketing opportunity for both the retailer and affiliate, allowing them to target campaigns in a more strategic manner that is bound to have a high ROI – all based on performance.
With an ability to enhance reach, involvement, and conversion of new buyers, the unique online advertising strategy has been credited for getting the job done at a much-reduced cost, significantly lower risk, and a much higher return when compared with other marketing platforms. That’s exactly why performance marketing has established itself as one of the most effective and influential strategies to enhance modern-day businesses.
There are many factors that have contributed to the widespread adoption of performance marketing as one of the most preferred tools to aid new-age businesses.
Here’s a look at some of the prominent tools:
Native Advertising: In this space, the content shared on the platform seems natural to the viewer or the target audience. It is sponsored content that is carefully mixed with organic content to make it appear as a natural ad to the viewer. It is primarily gaining dominance on e-commerce websites as it is easy to implement, allowing brands to be promoted more naturally alongside other content.
Content Marketing: As the name suggests, the content in this category is purely written to engage as many users as possible. It is specifically tailored for the audience viewing it, which places the brand in the frame for the targeted group. It is usually written in the form of blogs, e-books, case studies, etc.
Social Media Marketing: It is one of the most impactful and widely used methods to reach a different number of viewers and audiences. It generally emphasizes the reach of the shared advertisement, post, blog, etc. It also allows brands to extend their footprints and reach untapped markets by leveraging the power of share-ability on social platforms to amplify the reach of your content, ad, or post to even the most remote areas equipped with the internet. It is done with the usage of social platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
Brand marketing and performance marketing are becoming increasingly interdependent in a world where personalization and building relationships with your consumers are of paramount importance.
Advertising through the aforementioned tools helps in the transition of the modus operandi, as the performance of any kind of ad sponsored content is easily trackable and measurable which was not possible earlier due to the traditional structure and old marketing techniques. Despite advertisements on TV, in magazines, etc, the reach was relatively low but now it is quite high due to the involvement of channels like social media, sponsored content, Native ads, and ad pop-ups. Even the conversion rate is extremely fast in the performance marketing techniques as it leads to the result-based performance. The accessibility of these techniques and ways has helped in the proper tracking and measurement of the progress which is made by the initiatives taken in such marketing variants.
Flexibility of Content Marketing
The content which is displayed in the market by advertisers is editable due to the media channels involved for the branding as per the demand rises, which makes it suitable for them to do tweaking as sometimes due to high connectivity of the people with the sources can also lead to misleading information which in return could cause damage to the reputation of the brand. The flexible approach helps in conveying different messages to the customers in different ways which are helping the brand image as well as delivering the right content to the viewers.
Increase in Brand recall value
Brand channels are now more measurable than ever before. Capabilities such as programmatic advertising and performance media can be optimized for branding through tactics like sequential storytelling and a stronger desire to appeal to consumers through traditional branding methods.
Teams of all backgrounds must learn to leverage the insight that data from omnichannel consumer behavior can provide and how it can facilitate more effective results. Establish clear objectives for every single channel. They should all fit seamlessly within the overall business strategy, especially considering the need for executive buy-in.
A Recipe for Success
Needless to say, there are serious costs when a company focuses too heavily on the brand or performance aspect. Top-of-funnel branding efforts with no clear path to purchase can impact conversion. Solely focusing only on the bottom of the funnel will impact your ability to grow your business over the long term. The solution entails finding the right, delicate balance between the two in order to achieve the highest level of effectiveness and growth.
This means making sure that brand marketers understand the more concrete and measurable realm of performance marketing. In turn, performance marketers should understand that every moment is an opportunity to tell your story and connect with audiences on a more personal, individual level.
The goal is to combine the worlds of brand marketing and performance marketing. We use this amalgamation to deliver a holistic presence across multiple distribution channels that marry their common principles. But this cannot happen without the cooperation and a strong focus on a long-term strategy of unification versus one crafted for short-term gain from siloed schools of thought.
If you’re looking to remain competitive in today’s landscape, these principles are essential. It takes the synthesis of these two realms for companies to stand out from the crowd. Only then can we truly achieve the growth and success that we need to make a substantial, and lasting impact. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about driving business results, increasing market share, and most importantly, over-delivering on consumer expectations and crafting a strong brand that connects, incites action, and instills long-term loyalty in your customers.
Article is authored by Aanchal Gupta, Co-founder & Director, QuantaFi Digital.